Friday, November 30, 2007

Durga
In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: "the inaccessible"
Durga is depicted as a warrior woman riding a lion or a tiger with multiple hands carrying weapons and assuming mudras, or symbolic hand gestures. This form of the Goddess is the embodiment of feminine and creative energy (Shakti).

Durga Durga in the Hindu tradition
The 4 day Durga Puja is the biggest annual festival in Bengal and other parts of Eastern India, but it is celebrated in various forms throughout the Hindu universe.
The day of Durga's victory is celebrated as Vijaya Dashami (East and South India), Dashain (Nepal) or Dussehra (North India) - these words literally mean "the tenth" (day), vijaya means "of-victory". In Kashmir she is worshipped as shaarika (the main temple is in Hari Parbat in Srinagar).
The actual period of the worship however may be on the preceding nine days followed by the last day called Vijayadashami in North India or five days in Bengal, (from the sixth to tenth day of the waxing-moon fortnight). Nine aspects of Durga known as Navadurga are meditated upon, one by one during the nine-day festival by devout shakti worshippers.
In North India, this tenth day, signifying Rama's victory in his battle against the demon Ravana, is celebrated as Dussehra - gigantic straw effigies of Ravana are burnt in designated open spaces (e.g. Delhi's Ram Lila grounds), watched by thousands of families and little children.
In Gujarat it is celebrated as the last day of Navaratri, during which the Garba dance is performed to celebrate the vigorous victory of Mahishasura-mardini Durga.
The Goddess Durga worshipped in her peaceful form as Shree Shantadurga also known as santeri , is the patron Goddess of Goa. She is worshipped by all Goan Hindus irrespective of caste and even by some Christians in Goa.
Goddess Durga is worshipped in many temples of Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka.

See also

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